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Fraser
2009-Oct-21, 04:50 PM
NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden has asked for an evaluation of alternative heavy lift rockets, including DIRECT’s Jupiter launch vehicle. The evaluation is a “top priority,” according to NASASpaceflight.com, and a special team from the Marshall Space Flight Center has been commissioned to conduct the study, with the directive to have a report [...]

More... (http://www.universetoday.com/2009/10/21/nasa-administrator-orders-study-of-heavy-lift-alternatives/)

Tuckerfan
2009-Oct-21, 05:34 PM
You can expect the cancellation of any plans to go to the Moon or anywhere beyond LEO any moment. DIRECT will only barely get us to LEO, and won't be able to send as much stuff to the Moon as Apollo did (so, naturally, the anti-spacers will prevent us from going, and then move on to kill the program completely).

Fritriac
2009-Oct-21, 05:46 PM
Huh. Why do those Jupiter vehicles remind me of the Ariane 5 launcher?

Same construction software? :think:

JustAFriend
2009-Oct-22, 03:15 PM
They need the heavy lifting to build the Freedom and Independence (http://www.answers.com/topic/armageddon-1998-film)....

publiusr
2009-Oct-23, 09:51 PM
Ares V lite is what I hope for.

TheHalcyonYear
2009-Oct-23, 11:36 PM
You can expect the cancellation of any plans to go to the Moon or anywhere beyond LEO any moment. DIRECT will only barely get us to LEO, and won't be able to send as much stuff to the Moon as Apollo did (so, naturally, the anti-spacers will prevent us from going, and then move on to kill the program completely).
Well, with the deficits running as high as they are and the debt as bad at it is, it seems killing a return to the moon makes a lot of sense for now.

Tuckerfan
2009-Oct-24, 02:34 AM
Well, with the deficits running as high as they are and the debt as bad at it is, it seems killing a return to the moon makes a lot of sense for now.

Ceding the technological high ground to the Chinese, however, does not. Already, the US is starting to lose highly educated people to China, because they see greater opportunity there than in the US. They take the lead in space, and we won't be able to find anyone willing to buy our debt. Besides, NASA's annual budget is less than $20 billion/yr. The government spends nearly double that on HUD and I don't see anyone screaming we should cancel that program because its failed to cure homelessness.

TheHalcyonYear
2009-Oct-24, 03:36 AM
Ceding the technological high ground to the Chinese, however, does not. Already, the US is starting to lose highly educated people to China, because they see greater opportunity there than in the US. They take the lead in space, and we won't be able to find anyone willing to buy our debt. Besides, NASA's annual budget is less than $20 billion/yr. The government spends nearly double that on HUD and I don't see anyone screaming we should cancel that program because its failed to cure homelessness.
My Bold. I was under the impression that we weren't suppose to get political here, so I won't be baited into breaking the rules. I'm not going to comment on how our country got here, but currently there is a major economic crisis in this country because we continue to spend money that we don't have.

Personally I think that it's time our country got out of the habit of spending money it doesn't have. So... until the current national debt is brought under control, and revenues balance national expenditures, I think our country has no business going to the moon.

Tuckerfan
2009-Oct-24, 03:46 AM
My Bold. I was under the impression that we weren't suppose to get political here, so I won't be baited into breaking the rules. I'm not going to comment on how our country got here, but currently there is a major economic crisis in this country because we continue to spend money that we don't have.

Personally I think that it's time our country got out of the habit of spending money it doesn't have. So... until the current national debt is brought under control, and revenues balance national expenditures, I think our country has no business going to the moon.
Who's being political? I'm not arguing either for or against HUD, merely using it as a point to illustrate that there are a number of other government programs which get far more money than NASA does and nobody screams loudly that they should be killed. I purposely picked HUD because its not a "hot button" agency like the military or Medicare or some of the others.

The fact of the matter is that spending money on NASA is an investment in the future of America which pays huge dividends in all sectors of the economy. Killing a program like NASA under the justification that the country can't "afford" it, is cutting off one's nose to spite their face.

TheHalcyonYear
2009-Oct-24, 04:08 AM
The fact of the matter is that spending money on NASA is an investment in the future of America which pays huge dividends in all sectors of the economy. Killing a program like NASA under the justification that the country can't "afford" it, is cutting off one's nose to spite their face.
Currently the country can't afford to pay for it. All I suggest is paying for things. Something that isn't being done currently in this country. Until then I would suggest not starting anything new no matter what the cost. If we aren't going to pay for it, we shouldn't do it.

Buying on credit is the cause of the mess we are in right now, so until there is money I suggest we reduce spending to what we can afford. I didn't know that was so radical. If the Chinese have the money, which they do since they have a significant amount of the debt that the U.S. has run up, let them. When we have paid down the debt we owe the rest of the world maybe we can take on something new.

Tuckerfan
2009-Oct-24, 04:26 AM
Currently the country can't afford to pay for it. All I suggest is paying for things. Something that isn't being done currently in this country. Until then I would suggest not starting anything new no matter what the cost. If we aren't going to pay for it, we shouldn't do it.

Buying on credit is the cause of the mess we are in right now, so until there is money I suggest we reduce spending to what we can afford. I didn't know that was so radical. If the Chinese have the money, which they do since they have a significant amount of the debt that the U.S. has run up, let them. When we have paid down the debt we owe the rest of the world maybe we can take on something new.
The problem is, however, in how you cut that spending. Cut it in the wrong areas (like ones that lead to technological development and innovation) and we wind up like post-Soviet Russia, with our economy in tatters and nations only forking over small amounts of cash in order to keep our nukes from falling in the wrong hands. It is, after all, the high tech sector in the US that has been able to remain fairly stable, even despite the economic troubles we've seen, and diversifying the US economy (so that its not dependent upon a single sector for growth, like it is now) is an important step in enabling us to pay off much of that debt which is breaking the bank.

TheHalcyonYear
2009-Oct-24, 04:38 AM
The problem is, however, in how you cut that spending. Cut it in the wrong areas (like ones that lead to technological development and innovation) and we wind up like post-Soviet Russia, with our economy in tatters and nations only forking over small amounts of cash in order to keep our nukes from falling in the wrong hands. It is, after all, the high tech sector in the US that has been able to remain fairly stable, even despite the economic troubles we've seen, and diversifying the US economy (so that its not dependent upon a single sector for growth, like it is now) is an important step in enabling us to pay off much of that debt which is breaking the bank.
I agree completely, it's a matter of making the right cuts. However, I, and many others, don't see the must of going back to the moon as a first priority. It doesn't seem required to keep the high tech sector of the economy moving, so let the moon go for now.

I want it clearly understood, I have nothing against going back to the moon. If a private group in the U.S. wants to back a return to the moon, I have no issue with this. I simply don't think we have the luxury of making it a national priority right now.

Tuckerfan
2009-Oct-24, 05:09 AM
I agree completely, it's a matter of making the right cuts. However, I, and many others, don't see the must of going back to the moon as a first priority. It doesn't seem required to keep the high tech sector of the economy moving, so let the moon go for now.The high tech sector is slowly shifting to places like China and India. The Chinese have said that they intend to send a manned mission to the Moon by 2020 or so. Where do you think all the skilled engineers and technical types are going to be headed once the Chinese start showing real progress in that direction?


I want it clearly understood, I have nothing against going back to the moon. If a private group in the U.S. wants to back a return to the moon, I have no issue with this. I simply don't think we have the luxury of making it a national priority right now.
We don't have the luxury of allowing our technological edge to slip. After all, its one of the reasons why places like China buy our debt. They know they can put their money in the US government, and that government will spend it on things which pay dividends. Even if the Chinese can't get that money back from direct payments from the government, they can reap the benefit of the technological innovations which we develop here (namely because they make all the gadgets which that technology leads to and sell it back to us). The US stops being the leading developer of technology, and the US economy collapses rapidly. Then we wind up destroying what's left of our environment by selling off oil and gas drilling rights in environmentally sensitive areas because that's our only way of attracting investment in the country so we can pay off our debt.

TheHalcyonYear
2009-Oct-24, 05:20 AM
Then lets make the fiscal sacrifices necessary to have the money needed for the space program. We have spent most of the last 50 years digging ourselves into this hole, it seems to me that making more promises about the future. Personally I don't think that going back to the moon is going to be that important. But if we as a nation decide that it is, then link the space funding to significant reductions in other areas.

The one thing I am sure of is that we can't borrow ourselves out of the current crisis since borrowing is what got us into it. So far most federal spending is considered too vital to one group or another to cut.

Noclevername
2009-Oct-25, 04:17 AM
Developing heavy lift capacity will give us a lot more options in space than just going to the Moon. It will allow us greater access to space, maybe even building an orbital fuel stockpile to allow for real trips out of our neighborhood.

TheHalcyonYear
2009-Oct-25, 05:16 AM
Developing heavy lift capacity will give us a lot more options in space than just going to the Moon. It will allow us greater access to space, maybe even building an orbital fuel stockpile to allow for real trips out of our neighborhood.
When we have the capital to pay for such trips I think we should take them. Currently we have a frightening level of national deficit and unsustainable budget deficits and each dollar is too necessary to cut. So...... nothing is too necessary to consider cutting.

When we cut spending and raise taxes to sustain a reasonable level of federal spending, we should do it. In the mean time, invest in a private consortium to do the research. I'm certainly not against going back to the moon, but the government doesn't have the money.

John Jaksich
2009-Oct-25, 06:26 AM
When we have the capital to pay for such trips I think we should take them. Currently we have a frightening level of national deficit and unsustainable budget deficits and each dollar is too necessary to cut. So...... nothing is too necessary to consider cutting.

When we cut spending and raise taxes to sustain a reasonable level of federal spending, we should do it. In the mean time, invest in a private consortium to do the research. I'm certainly not against going back to the moon, but the government doesn't have the money.

I agree, w/o too much politics---no one wants to give up their piece of the "money-pie"...and I see your point about a possible private consortium of U.S. companies and Universities performing most of the research for the time being.

This is certainly not close to being as bad as the Great Depression of the 1930's... I am still hopeful for a complete rebound within the next 12-to-18 months.

There is still other research problems to tackle -- that (?) I would believe involve the current resources at NASA.

TheHalcyonYear
2009-Oct-25, 06:40 AM
I agree, w/o too much politics---no one wants to give up their piece of the "money-pie"...and I see your point about a possible private consortium of U.S. companies and Universities performing most of the research for the time being.

This is certainly not close to being as bad as the Great Depression of the 1930's... I am still hopeful for a complete rebound within the next 12-to-18 months.

There is still other research problems to tackle -- that (?) I would believe involve the current resources at NASA.
This is not the great depression, however, this is not the 1930's either. We as a nation are very strongly indebted and something has to give. I think there is a need for NASA, but then there is also a need for other government functions. I just think that until some sanity is brought to the national budget everything has to take a hit.

There is a lot of science that NASA can do without putting men on the moon. The astronomic advances of the last 35 years have been made without men on either the Moon or Mars. Quite frankly, NASA has facilitated a very strong astronomic program on tight budgets. I suggest that such be the model for the future until expenditures are brought into line with revenues.

Tuckerfan
2009-Oct-25, 06:47 AM
Then lets make the fiscal sacrifices necessary to have the money needed for the space program. We have spent most of the last 50 years digging ourselves into this hole, it seems to me that making more promises about the future. Personally I don't think that going back to the moon is going to be that important. But if we as a nation decide that it is, then link the space funding to significant reductions in other areas.

The one thing I am sure of is that we can't borrow ourselves out of the current crisis since borrowing is what got us into it. So far most federal spending is considered too vital to one group or another to cut.
Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman disagrees. (http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2009/10/22/24245/)
Yet the United States’ experience with the Great Depression helped lead to a more rapid response to the current crisis, he noted. “We were, to a certain extent, inoculated,” Krugman said, praising the unconventional monetary policy adopted by the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, a former economics professor at the University. Financial columnist Stan Collender was correct in observing that the $1.4 trillion budget deficit is a triumph of fiscal policy, Krugman added, saying, “We would have had Great Depression 2, [but] the deficit saved the world.”

This is not a time for traditional monetary policies, Krugman said, quoting St. Augustine: “ ‘Oh Lord, make me chaste and continent, but not yet.’ ”

He also claims that if current trends continue, we'll wind up with a total defict (expressed as a percentage of GDP that's lower than what we had at the end of WWII). (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/23/how-big-is-9-trillion/)

Now, personally, I find it pretty difficult to think of economics as a "science," since you can show the exact same data to two different economists and get wildly divergent answers as to what it all means. Contrast that with something like medicine, where if you show two different doctors the same X-Ray, one doctor isn't going to look at it and say, "Its obvious that this person has a broken tibia!" while the other doctor screams, "My goodness! This person has a deviated septum!" Seems to me, that if something is going to be called a "science," then the majority of people who are trained in the field, should come to the same conclusion, based on the same data. With economics, however, you can find a nearly infinite number of different conclusions to the same data. But, whatever, I'm not an economist by any stretch of the imagination.

Still, let's look at the reality: Right now, the Federal budget is roughly $5 trillion, of which just over $1 trillion is borrowed money. The three largest expenditures of the Federal government are social programs, the military, and service on the national debt. (NASA's budget is barely $20 billion and has been static since the 1960s, adjusting for inflation, NASA's budget is less than half of what it was during the Apollo era.)

No politician (who wants to be re-elected, at any rate) is going to suggest raising taxes or cutting social programs, and defaulting on the debt is not really an option. Sure, we can talk about rejiggering how the government operates to get rid of things like waste, but I seriously doubt that this could create significant savings enough to impact the national debt. Its also possible that we could restructure the tax code so that the individual (and corporate) tax burden isn't significantly higher for most, but the government does take in more money. However, I put the odds of this happening at slightly less than porcine flight naturally occurring within my lifetime.

So what are we left with? Not much, other than tweaking things at the margins. If we increase, even slightly, spending on things involving science and new technology, we stand a better than decent chance of stimulating the US economy so that incomes grow (and thus the amount an individual pays in taxes) and more investment (in terms of opening new businesses and new industries in the US), than we do if cut investment in those areas.

In 2011, NASA is out of the manned space business. Yes, there's talk about keeping the shuttles flying longer, but that ignores a few things. One is that the Vehicle Assembly Building apparently cannot deal with the shuttles and Ares at the same time, so to keep the shuttles flying while Ares (or a different system) is developed and tested means long delays, which will cause the shuttles to have to fly longer than just another year (since they won't be able to fly as frequently). Or spending money on modifying the VAB so that it can handle both (which then leaves you with a lot of surplus space and gear once the shuttle program is shutdown).

Extending the time the shuttles are flying increases the likelihood of us losing another one. (Some say that the odds will be 1 in 12 that any given flight will end in disaster if we fly the shuttles beyond their current retirement date.) One crash will cost hundreds of millions of dollars to deal with, assuming that nothing goes horribly wrong on the ground (the shuttle does fly over populated areas as it returns).

Replacing the shuttles with something that can only get us to LEO (and not investing in hardware like Ares V that can take us to the Moon or Mars) is simply marking time. We gain a little from it, but not nearly as much as if we pushed the limits as hard as we can. Its also a weak position from which to defend the entirety of the space program, since many people don't see the point of the ISS.

Ditching manned spaceflight altogether (until it magically becomes cheaper) is the worst option possible. Forget the potential economic effects and the other things I've said, it makes it easier for those who hate science to kill NASA entirely. Senator Proxmire is often roasted on these pages because he kept wanting to gut NASA, but the man attacked almost all government spending on scientific research! If he couldn't see an immediate payout for a science related item (and it had to be bleedingly obvious as to what that payout would be and how soon it would be for him to endorse it), he was screaming about government waste. One example that sticks in my mind (not space related) was his anger over people wanting to measure the bones of corpses. The man could see no use for that at all. The data from that study, however, provided valuable information on things about how bones grow and developed based on things like gender, age, and occupation. Its really handy, from what I understand, in solving homicides, missing person cases, and identifying remains found in the wake of natural disasters, wars, genocide, etc., etc., etc. But because Proxmire didn't "get" what it was for, it almost didn't get funded.

Cut the manned program, and they'll go after the unmanned program next. They'll even use the same arguments about how it shouldn't be NASA putting up things like weather satellites or sending probes to other planets. (After all, why do we need to study the other planets? We don't have a manned program, so we're clearly not going to be sending humans to those places.) Then, when scientists in other parts of the world, using data from their space probes, announce that this or that chemical is being dumped into the environment is wreaking all kinds of havoc on our planet, the anti-science folks will scream that its all an anti-American plot, and that if there was a real danger, US scientists would have discovered it and announced it already. (Never mind the fact that once US scientists are able to examine the data for themselves they come to same conclusion. Because we didn't discover it first, it doesn't exist, will be their mantra.)

TheHalcyonYear
2009-Oct-25, 07:22 AM
He also claims that if current trends continue, we'll wind up with a total defict (expressed as a percentage of GDP that's lower than what we had at the end of WWII). (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/23/how-big-is-9-trillion/)

And where does he say that this is a good thing and doesn't need to be fixed?



Now, personally, I find it pretty difficult to think of economics as a "science," since you can show the exact same data to two different economists and get wildly divergent answers as to what it all means.

Can you get an economist to say that it's best to spend money that we don't have. Show me a credible economist who says that all is well and I will agree that we can abolish taxes and continue to fund government programs.



Still, let's look at the reality: Right now, the Federal budget is roughly $5 trillion, of which just over $1 trillion is borrowed money. The three largest expenditures of the Federal government are social programs, the military, and service on the national debt. (NASA's budget is barely $20 billion and has been static since the 1960s, adjusting for inflation, NASA's budget is less than half of what it was during the Apollo era.)

Agreed. However, as you point out one in five dollars is borrowed which isn't good. I'm not going to get into where the cuts should come from since that would break the "no political discussions" rule and get me a quick suspension, however, I am going to say that every program seems to be indispensable according to someone and something has got to give.



No politician (who wants to be re-elected, at any rate) is going to suggest raising taxes or cutting social programs, and defaulting on the debt is not really an option. Sure, we can talk about rejiggering how the government operates to get rid of things like waste, but I seriously doubt that this could create significant savings enough to impact the national debt. Its also possible that we could restructure the tax code so that the individual (and corporate) tax burden isn't significantly higher for most, but the government does take in more money. However, I put the odds of this happening at slightly less than porcine flight naturally occurring within my lifetime

So what are we left with? Not much, other than tweaking things at the margins. If we increase, even slightly, spending on things involving science and new technology, we stand a better than decent chance of stimulating the US economy so that incomes grow (and thus the amount an individual pays in taxes) and more investment (in terms of opening new businesses and new industries in the US), than we do if cut investment in those areas.

Yeah, everyone says we have to get spending vs revenue under control, but everyone needs their program funded.



Extending the time the shuttles are flying increases the likelihood of us losing another one. (Some say that the odds will be 1 in 12 that any given flight will end in disaster if we fly the shuttles beyond their current retirement date.) One crash will cost hundreds of millions of dollars to deal with, assuming that nothing goes horribly wrong on the ground (the shuttle does fly over populated areas as it returns).

I agree, the fleet should be grounded; no airline would be allowed to fly under such conditions.



Replacing the shuttles with something that can only get us to LEO (and not investing in hardware like Ares V that can take us to the Moon or Mars) is simply marking time. We gain a little from it, but not nearly as much as if we pushed the limits as hard as we can. Its also a weak position from which to defend the entirety of the space program, since many people don't see the point of the ISS.

I agree, I think the money should be cut from the budget completely.



Cut the manned program, and they'll go after the unmanned program next. They'll even use the same arguments about how it shouldn't be NASA putting up things like weather satellites or sending probes to other planets. (After all, why do we need to study the other planets?

Gee, now there's a good argument. We need to spend money on maned space flight because if we don't they'll take away the rest of our money. I wonder how much money could be saved if all such expenditures made based on that logic were removed from the budget.

BigDon
2009-Oct-25, 08:58 AM
Hal, you just won't ever concede when you're wrong will you?

TheHalcyonYear
2009-Oct-25, 05:29 PM
Hal, you just won't ever concede when you're wrong will you?
Any you won't put forward any evidence to support your belief that I am wrong.

Tuckerfan
2009-Oct-26, 06:29 AM
And where does he say that this is a good thing and doesn't need to be fixed?
If you read the article, you'll see that he feels its not the end of the world, by any stretch of the imagination.


Can you get an economist to say that it's best to spend money that we don't have.Did you not read the linked article in which he stated that right now, the best the government could have done was to spend money that we, in fact, do not have? I've seen interviews with Krugman in which he's stated that the stimulus package should have been $2 trillion, of which almost all of it would be deficit spending.
Show me a credible economist who says that all is well and I will agree that we can abolish taxes and continue to fund government programs.Why do I get the feeling that if I did, it wouldn't change your mind? Perhaps because you haven't read the links I posted earlier.



Agreed. However, as you point out one in five dollars is borrowed which isn't good. I'm not going to get into where the cuts should come from since that would break the "no political discussions" rule and get me a quick suspension, however, I am going to say that every program seems to be indispensable according to someone and something has got to give. True, but by carefully picking your targets one can control what gives, when, and how.



Yeah, everyone says we have to get spending vs revenue under control, but everyone needs their program funded. And the only way things will change is if people start looking at the long term benefits, rather than simply what sounds good now.



I agree, the fleet should be grounded; no airline would be allowed to fly under such conditions.Not true at all. US airlines have been granted safety wavers in the past, and airlines outside the US often have very lax standards.



I agree, I think the money should be cut from the budget completely. Because cutting $5 billion/yr will prevent the US government from running a deficit. Please.



Gee, now there's a good argument. We need to spend money on maned space flight because if we don't they'll take away the rest of our money. I wonder how much money could be saved if all such expenditures made based on that logic were removed from the budget.
Basically, when it comes to budgets, in either the government or business, if you spend less money this year, than you did last year, you get your budget cut for the following year. In the private sector, I've personally seen this result in some pretty nasty messes, with companies suddenly losing money, simply because they had cut key parts of the budget (they decided it would be a good idea to spend less money on maintenance, since they didn't have any problems last year, only to find out the hard way that the reason they didn't have any problems was because they had spent so much money in previous years).

Right now, there's not a thing you can touch which hasn't directly or indirectly benefited from the space program. Had it not been for the Soviets launching Sputnik, DARPA might never have been formed. DARPA created the internet (which now provides billions to the global economy). So no Sputnik, and we might not even be having this conversation. Spending money on things like "pure science" and technological development is always a really good idea. "The nation that turns inward is doomed to decline." JFK.

TheHalcyonYear
2009-Oct-26, 06:47 AM
{{sigh}} Then it appears that perhaps we should simply forget taxes and simply spend the money anyway. Interesting economics. I think I will opt for those who think that some level of fiscal responsibility.

I'm not against technological development. I just think we should pay for it. I'm not thinking that we should be "The nation that turns inward" just the nation that lives within its productive capacity.

Jerry
2009-Oct-26, 02:30 PM
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/396093main_HSF_Cmte_FinalReport.pdf


It seems improbable that significant reductions in launch costs will be realized in the short term until launch rates increase substantially—perhaps through expanded commercial activity in space. How can the nation stimulate such activity? In the 1920s, the federal government awarded a series of guaranteed contracts for carrying airmail, stimulating the growth of the airline industry. The Committee concludes that an exploration architecture employing a similar policy of guaranteed contracts has the potential to stimulate a vigorous and competitive commercial space industry.

http://www.postalmuseum.si.edu/airmail/pilot/pilot_old/pilot_flying.html

"Thirty-five of the pilots hired by the Post Office Department between 1919-1926 were killed while flying the mail. Most of those pilots died in the early years of the service. In 1919, one pilot died for every 115,325 miles flown. By 1926, the number had dropped to one pilot death for every 2,583,056 miles flown."

...Not including the pilots who died looking for lost aircraft; or ground accidents, which were many. This is not 1920, or even 1955. There is always a cheaper way, but is it the right way?

publiusr
2009-Oct-26, 09:22 PM
Developing heavy lift capacity will give us a lot more options in space than just going to the Moon. It will allow us greater access to space, maybe even building an orbital fuel stockpile to allow for real trips out of our neighborhood.

Well said.

TheHalcyonYear
2009-Oct-26, 09:31 PM
Developing heavy lift capacity will give us a lot more options in space than just going to the Moon. It will allow us greater access to space, maybe even building an orbital fuel stockpile to allow for real trips out of our neighborhood.
I'm all for it. I just think that doing it on credit is not such a good idea.

The Jim
2009-Oct-27, 01:27 AM
Originally Posted by Noclevername
Developing heavy lift capacity will give us a lot more options in space than just going to the Moon. It will allow us greater access to space, maybe even building an orbital fuel stockpile to allow for real trips out of our neighborhood.
Well said.

You agreed to the fuel depot. Heavy lift is not needed with fuel depot.

Name options that we need.

Swift
2009-Oct-29, 02:17 PM
This thread is on the edge for many reasons.

Discussion of governmental budgets as they pertain to the space program are certainly within the rules. But other discussions of governmental budgets are probably not, such as if and how to balance the budget, or the government's economic policy. And they are serious thread hijackings.

And Big Don, your comment was not appropriate.

TheHalcyonYear
2009-Oct-31, 08:49 PM
Besides, NASA's annual budget is less than $20 billion/yr. The government spends nearly double that on HUD and I don't see anyone screaming we should cancel that program because its failed to cure homelessness.
I don't support HUD either. I think it should be subject to the same budgetary constraints that I am suggesting for the space program.

Tassel
2009-Oct-31, 09:41 PM
It seems to me that most if not all of NASA's current budget could be considered "borrowed money". Should NASA's budget be $0? If not, how much borrowed money should we be spending on NASA?

TheHalcyonYear
2009-Oct-31, 10:51 PM
It seems to me that most if not all of NASA's current budget could be considered "borrowed money". Should NASA's budget be $0? If not, how much borrowed money should we be spending on NASA?
A significant number of programs are currently being funded with borrowed money. It seems to me that no program should be spared significant cuts while there is such a difference between revenues and outlays.

Tuckerfan
2009-Nov-01, 01:51 AM
A significant number of programs are currently being funded with borrowed money. It seems to me that no program should be spared significant cuts while there is such a difference between revenues and outlays.

Nice in theory, but in reality, there's been some pretty important events in American history that would never have been possible had we adhered to it, starting with the Revolutionary War, for just one example.

Tassel
2009-Nov-01, 12:13 PM
A significant number of programs are currently being funded with borrowed money. It seems to me that no program should be spared significant cuts while there is such a difference between revenues and outlays.

Ok, so now it sounds like you don't disagree with a moon program strictly on the principle of not doing it on borrowed money. However, now you're suggesting NASA's budget be cut "significantly". By how much? Why that much? What would your argument be against someone who suggested we are in debt and running an ever increasing federal budget deficit so we should not be funding NASA at all at this time?

DrRocket
2009-Nov-01, 06:02 PM
Ok, so now it sounds like you don't disagree with a moon program strictly on the principle of not doing it on borrowed money. However, now you're suggesting NASA's budget be cut "significantly". By how much? Why that much? What would your argument be against someone who suggested we are in debt and running an ever increasing federal budget deficit so we should not be funding NASA at all at this time?

Any time that the Federal Government runs a deficit budget (almost always) the portion of the budget that represents the deficit is funded on borrowed money.

That deficit budget applies to a rather portion of federally funded programs, and there is no particular reason to single out NASA, the budget for which, compared to the overall federal budget, is roundoff error.

Tassel
2009-Nov-02, 04:45 AM
That deficit budget applies to a rather portion of federally funded programs, and there is no particular reason to single out NASA, the budget for which, compared to the overall federal budget, is roundoff error.
I agree and this is why I'm challenging Halcyon. Halcyon is singling out one program, under one government agency (whose entire budget you correctly point out is basically a rounding error) and declaring that we can't afford that particular program.

Tuckerfan
2009-Nov-02, 04:54 AM
Ok, so now it sounds like you don't disagree with a moon program strictly on the principle of not doing it on borrowed money. However, now you're suggesting NASA's budget be cut "significantly". By how much? Why that much? What would your argument be against someone who suggested we are in debt and running an ever increasing federal budget deficit so we should not be funding NASA at all at this time?

He's not going to answer. (http://www.bautforum.com/off-topic-babbling/95830-thehalcyonyear-says-good-bye.html)

Not to cast aspersions at halcyon, but I suspect that the reason many people want to gut NASA's budget has to do with the fact that the EPA gets an awful lot of data from NASA, and since going after the EPA is pretty much doomed to failure, NASA's the target.

publiusr
2009-Nov-06, 09:40 PM
You agreed to the fuel depot. Heavy lift is not needed with fuel depot.

Name options that we need.

Fuel Depots are not needed with Heavy Lift. Augustine himself believes in heavy lift. I have not agreed with a fuel depot yet. Aug report says the same. HLLVs allow for more robust depots in the future. EELV depot assembly will cost more than heavy lift development. More news: http://www.spacenews.com/civil/091106-bolden-flexible-path-attractive.html